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Your voting options in 'all mail' election

 

Although San Mateo County is participating in a historic trial of a so-called "all mail" election this year, voters can still vote at the polls on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3).

If you have not mailed your postage-paid, mail-in ballot, which was sent to all registered voters in the county, you may choose to vote at one of the 32 "universal polling places" that will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

At any of these polling places, any San Mateo County registered voter can vote in person, request a replacement ballot, or drop off his or her mail-in ballot.

These are the four universal polling places in Almanac towns:

● Atherton: Menlo College, Fireside Room, Student Union Building, 1000 El Camino Real.

● Menlo Park: Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Juniper Room, 700 Alma St.

● Portola Valley: Historic School House, Town Chambers, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley.

● Woodside: Town of Woodside Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road.

Click here to see a complete list of the polling place locations.

If you choose to mail in your ballot, make sure it's postmarked no later than Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Another option is to drop off your mail-in ballot at one of 20 city hall locations throughout the county during regular business hours up until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Check your voter information pamphlet for the nearest drop-off location.

If you have questions, you can contact the county elections office by phone at (650) 312-5222 or by email at registrar@smcare.org.

'All-mail' election

San Mateo County and Yolo County are the only counties in California authorized by state law to participate in this trial program. The state Legislature's intention is to test this election method to see if it should be adopted statewide.

The counties were selected for their different geographic and demographic makeup: Yolo County is larger and less populous that the more urban San Mateo County.

San Mateo County plans to conduct three all-mail elections between now and 2018. This method will be used in local and county-wide elections only, not in state or federal elections.

Most voters in San Mateo County already vote by mail. In the November 2014 general election, 67 percent of the county's voters used mail-in ballots.

Mark Church, San Mateo County's chief elections officer, has estimated that voter turnout may increase by about 10 percent as the result of this election method.

In addition, he said, an all-mail voting system could nearly halve the costs of elections. San Mateo County's past elections have relied on training 1,700 poll workers to operate 1,300 voting machines at 209 polling places. In this election, the county will have four to five poll workers at each of only 32 universal polling places on Election Day.

Voter registration

Under a new state law that goes into effect Jan. 1, every eligible California citizen who obtains or renews a driver's license in the state will automatically be registered to vote. The law will allow people to opt out of registering to vote.

Voter information

● Go to www.shapethefuture.org for more information from the San Mateo County Elections Office.

● Go to SmartVoter.org for information from the League of Women Voters.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Why change our established way of voting at polls in our neighborhoods? Why register people to vote automatically? Why encourage people who have a driver's license but don't understand the responsibilities of representational government to mail in a ballot, if they otherwise wouldn't take the trouble to vote?
And doesn't switching to all-mailed-in ballots enable a type of voter fraud? Where's the paper trail? Who's there to check that the person mailing the ballot is a registered voter? Oh, I forgot. We're all registered now. Even illegal aliens.


21 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

What's wrong with using a system that allows people to vote when it is convenient for them to do so and costs HALF of what it costs to do it the old fashioned way? There is still a paper trail- the paper ballots can be verified and re-counted in a very transparent way, better than electronic voting machines. And no, the driver's licenses the DMV is issuing to undocumented people do not allow them to vote.

Washington State does all of its elections by mail, and the sky hasn't fallen in yet.

California has had permanent absentee voting for many years now. This is not some radical new thing, this is well-understood.

I am glad that San Mateo County is encouraging participation in the political process, and is saving taxpayer money to boot.


19 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

really? is a registered user.

God help us all if ignorant people are allowed to vote, or if voting becomes too easy. The fall of our democracy is upon us!

If this election gets more than 20% turnout, I'll eat my head.


7 people like this
Posted by Bueller?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm

"And doesn't switching to all-mailed-in ballots enable a type of voter fraud?" No. [Part removed. Please make your point without negative characterization of other posters.]

Disagree? Then please give us the numbers of the VAST AMOUNT of voter fraud espoused by the wingnut fringe. We'll wait.

Hard facts, please.

[part removed.]

Now, if you want to talk about ELECTION FRAUD, that is a different story. Take for example all the restrictive laws put into place under the guise of voter fraud (virtually non-existent) in order to put down voters who are not white and affluent.

Voter suppression: The Battle to Protect the Ballot: Voter Suppression Measures Passed Since 2013 (examples by state) Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Election employees are retiring at public expense. Counties need to save money to pay retirees. Pensions are not funded. In the November 2014 low-turnout election, 56 percent of San Mateo County ballots were cast by mail (formerly called absentee). In Santa Clara County, it was over 70 percent. There is virtually no voter fraud because one vote does not determine an outcome and a conspiracy large enough to steal an election would be detected UNLESS counting is rigged. That would be government fraud - not voter fraud.


Like this comment
Posted by Dumbest statement ever?
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Nov 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

"There is virtually no voter fraud because one vote does not determine an outcome..."

Wow.

So if someone votes illegally, unless that illegal vote actually changes the election outcome, it doesn't qualify as fraud?

I guess if someone steals from you and it doesn't change your lifestyle it's not a crime, either.


19 people like this
Posted by Bueller?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 3, 2015 at 8:31 am

@Dumbest statement - "So if someone votes illegally, unless that illegal vote actually changes the election outcome, it doesn't qualify as fraud?"

Please give us some examples of VOTER fraud in Menlo.

Or San Mateo County.

Or California.

Or the United States.

Anyone?

Bueller?

Here are dozens of examples of VOTER SUPPRESSION - match that with a dozen cases of VOTER fraud. Web Link

We'll wait. While we wait, perhaps you should ponder some Forest Gump quotes.


Like this comment
Posted by Bueller?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 3, 2015 at 8:39 am

[Post removed. Off topic.}


Like this comment
Posted by Still dumb
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Nov 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

[Post removed. Don't use multiple user names on same thread.]


12 people like this
Posted by Bueller?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

PERFECT!

That is a 2009 example of ELECTION fraud, not voter fraud. Did any VOTERS commit the fraud?

Nope.

I linked to dozens of Voter SUPPRESSION examples, which effect THOUSANDS of voters. Still looking for dozens of voter fraud examples. [Part removed. It looks like the state found no voter fraud in this case: Web Link ]

Now try giving us those dozen examples without the Fox "reporting" spin.

Anyone?

Bueller?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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